German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande Support Ceasefire Deal in Ukraine

German Chancellor Merkel, French President Hollande and Spain's Prime Minister Rajoy pay respect to victims in front of the mountain in Seyne-les-Alpes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande confirmed in a joint statement Thursday their endorsement of a general ceasefire deal brokered by the trilateral contact group of Germany, France, and Poland. The deal is expected to take effect at the start of the new school year, according to an Elysee statement Thursday.

Merkel and Hollande added that they are “extremely concerned” regarding the situation in Eastern Ukraine. The leaders’ spoke in advance of a meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported

Hollande’s office was quoted by Jpost as saying that the three countries “Stress that this must be the start of a lasting ceasefire.”

The Kremlin said in a statement last week that Hollande, Merkel, and Putin’s agreement to discuss the Ukrainian situation from September 4-5 was made on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China.

The conditions of a 12-point truce reached in Minsk in February 2015, which included a complete cessation of hostilities and release of POWs, have not yet been reached. Over 9,550 people, including civilians, soldiers, and armed group members, have been killed in the Ukrainian conflict since April 2014, according to the U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

09/01/2016 2:20 PM by Menachem Rephun

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